Sir Jonathan Ive: The iMan cometh

Sir Jonathan Ive: The iMan cometh:

Q: What makes a great designer?

A: It is so important to be light on your feet, inquisitive and interested in being wrong. You have that  wonderful fascination with the what if questions, but you also need absolute focus and a keen insight into the context and what is important – that is really terribly important. Its about contradictions you have to navigate.

[I loved this answer. Also… “Our goal is simple objects, objects that you can’t imagine any other way. Simplicity is not the absence of clutter. Get it right, and you become closer and more focused on the object. For instance, the iPhoto app we created for the new iPad, it completely consumes you and you forget you are using an iPad.” and this “One of the things we’ve really learnt over the last 20 years is that while people would often struggle to articulate why they like something – as consumers we are incredibly discerning, we sense where has been great care in the design, and when there is cynicism and greed. It’s one of the thing we’ve found really encouraging.”]

I’m not a “curator”

I’m not a “curator”:

And that’s how I feel about links in general: the source author creates something worth linking to, and the rest of us can link as we see fit, regardless of how we found it.

The proper place for ethics and codes is in ensuring that a reasonable number of people go to the source instead of just reading your rehash.

Codifying “via” links with confusing symbols is solving the wrong problem.

[True true. Which is why I try to rarely quote so much of an article that you’re not interested in reading the original.]


European vs American cooking habits and why it matters for programming

European vs American cooking habits and why it matters for programming:

It doesn’t matter if it’s cooking or programming or doing whatever, really—you can learn from other people and how they do things differently from you. Don’t dismiss them outright. Hear what they have to say. Here’s one concrete example for myself that I’ve stumbled upon: I dismissed the meaningful indentation in Python, but later I’ve come to like it in CoffeeScript.

However, if something doesn’t hold up to the claims, or is doing things objectively wrong—it’s OK to be dismissive. It’s good to be opinionated. Just think about it for a second first, and better yet try it out. You might be surprised about what you fall in love with that at first seemed outlandish or stupid to you.

[It feels like we all learn this lesson one at a time. Keep an open mind people, you never know what you might discover.]

Ultimate climbing guide, part 1: gearing

Ultimate climbing guide, part 1: gearing:

Interestingly, the next day, in the hill climb time trial to Chamrousse, Armstrong adjusted his gearing to suit the conditions, like Hampsten did in the example at the start of this post. According to John Wilcockson, Armstrong felt that the 23 on Alpe d’Huez had been too low (oh to have that feeling!) but the 21 a bit high. So for the time trial he fitted a 12-22 cassette so that his lowest gears were 22-21-20-19, thus keeping the ratio difference at around 5% between each gear. Whether it was this gear change, his high cadence style, or the familiarity he had with the course after scouting it out before the Tour, we won the stage and took another minute out of Ullrich. He would, of course, go on to win his third Tour in a row that year.

[I climbed like a lead weight today…. in a 34/32 combo. Sigh. I tell myself that next time will be better, I’ve been off the bike for a while, and other things to sooth my shattered cyclist soul. None of which will get me climbing in a 39×23…]

Source: le grimpeur

Balance Life and Cycling Training for the Bone Ride | Bike in Balance

Balance Life and Cycling Training for the Bone Ride | Bike in Balance:

From my place, I can be on a country road in about 15 pedal strokes. And in a few thousand pedals strokes, I can be cruising on fantastic, hilly dairy roads along the east side of Lake Winnebago. Flanders comes to mind hereabouts: flat roads passing farm fields, abrupt hills with taverns at the top, lots of wind. In other words, the riding is great. All I have to do is point my front wheel toward happiness.

Is it not that simple?

[Yes. And No. Maybe. Balance is core skill for a cyclist. It’s surprising that so many fail at it, and so badly. Mike, I’m rooting for ya. And me. I’m trying to pull off the same thing. And I have a ride to prepare for as well. Allez!]

Learning from competition

Learning from competition:

That would have just made me look stubborn and out of touch, failing to understand (in fact, trying very hard not to understand) why newer fonts could be attractive to customers, and failing to admit that I should have done it first.

Instead, I’m taking this misstep as a wake-up call: I missed an important opportunity that’s necessary for the long-term competitiveness of my product. So I’ve spent most of the last week testing tons of reading fonts, getting feedback from designers I respect, narrowing it down to a handful of great choices, and negotiating with their foundries for inclusion into the next version of Instapaper.1 And the results in testing so far are awesome. I wish someone had kicked my complacent ass about fonts sooner.

Reacting well to competition requires critical analysis of your own product and its shortcomings, and a complete, open-minded understanding of why people might choose your competitors.

[Always hard. Really important.]


How Anyone Can Get Anything Past The Scanners

$1B of TSA Nude Body Scanners Made Worthless By Blog — How Anyone Can Get Anything Past The Scanners « TSA Out of Our Pants!:

This video is here to demonstrate that the TSA’s insistence that the nude body scanner program is effective and necessary is nothing but a fraud, just like their claims that the program is safe (radiation what?) and non-invasive (nude pictures who?). The scanners are now effectively worthless, as anyone can beat them with virtually no effort. The TSA has been provided this video in advance of it being made public to give them an opportunity to turn off the scanners and revert to the metal detectors. I personally believe they now have no choice but to turn them off.

[The TSA has seemed like a hint government waste from the beginning. It continues to get worse and worse. A fairy tale for the American public.]

WSJ: U.S. Warns Apple, Publishers on E-Book Pricing

WSJ: U.S. Warns Apple, Publishers on E-Book Pricing:

Apple suggested the move to the agency model, which is what they’ve been using with other digital sales. Most publishers embraced that idea because they didn’t want to see Amazon end up with a natural near-monopoly on e-books… the way Apple has ended up with one on legal digital music.

I am not sure how many layers this irony cake has in it, but it’s a mighty big slice.

[Sure ’nuff is.]

Source: Coyote Tracks